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Owners' Lockout? Fans Must Boycott


Don't Feed the Greed Guy
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Major League owners have decided to lock out major league baseball players. This ill-timed act—in the teeth of a pandemic—violates a sacred oath with fans, players, and the gods of baseball. The thirty principal franchise owners, from Arturo Moreno to William DeWitt Jr., have cast aside a basic social contract with America. This contract has been written on behalf of every little league team, every single-mom playing catch with her kid in a neighborhood park, and every homebound elder, who tempers his or her 365-day reality of soul-crushing loneliness by tuning in to 162 islands of comfort in that sea of misery. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve visited a church member in our local nursing home. The Twins game is on the TV, and before sharing homebound Holy Communion and prayer, we watch an inning or two.

A little over twenty-five years ago I as a young, idealistic preacher, fresh out of seminary, alongside another equally troubled preacher-friend. The strike of 1994-95 offended me so greatly that I stood outside the Metrodome on Opening Night with a sign over my shoulder that read “Don’t Feed the Greed.” I wore my Minnesota Twins cap in mourning. Columnists representing local and regional sports pages asked for my story. I told them that I would be taking a year off from Major League Baseball. I would still watch the kids from our church youth group play Legion ball in the summer, and take in a St. Paul Saints game, or two. But I was going to boycott major league baseball. I’d like to believe that many other Twins fans joined the scrum. Over a million fans still filed in and blew out the Metrodome doors, but Grandpa Carl’s franchise finished dead last in American League attendance—14th out of 14 teams—just four years removed from a World Series title.

Twenty-five years later, I am a season-ticket holder, albeit just the 20-Game Flex Pack. I travel down to Fort Myers Beach each spring for a week or two of games, and I have brought many church groups to Target Field. My greatest pleasure has been bringing Ojibwe youth from the Leech Lake and White Earth Reservations to Target Field, as the elders and I tell stories of Charles Albert Bender, member of the White Earth Band and first Minnesotan enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was “Moneyball” generations before Michael Lewis and Brad Pitt made their millions off the game. Connie Mack called Bender his money pitcher as the Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series in 1919,1911, and 1913. Said Mack, “If everything depended on one game, I just used Albert – the greatest money pitcher of all time.”

Baseball was Bender’s ticket out of Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Philadelphia. He and thousands of other Native children were uprooted from their culture during the Boarding School Era. Bender was moved from northern Minnesota to Philadelphia during the onset of this ugly chapter in American history. Many Native children, relocated from their homes, are still buried in the Carlisle cemetery. Bender was lucky. Back home in Minnesota he fed his family by throwing rocks at squirrels and partridge. At Carlisle, his well-honed skills caught the eye of renowned football innovator Glenn “Pop” Warner. Warner was also the baseball coach.

The owners’ decision to lock out players from major league facilities is not about billionaires vs. millionaires. It’s about international players signed out of impoverished places like some hillside village in the Dominican Republic who have been locked out Major League facilities like our Twins training fields and dormitories in Fort Myers. Owners have already contracted their minor league platform, eliminating entire leagues in order to maximize profits. The owners’ decision locks out the modern-day Albert Benders of our nation and world.

 The return to baseball was also a reprieve from the gut punch of a global pandemic. In the spring of 2020 I spent two weeks in a cottage on Fort Myers Beach. My son, who had just been named the captain of his high school baseball team, was joining me. I picked him up at the airport on Thursday March 12. We had tickets to see the Twins play Baltimore later that night. From the airport, we grabbed an early supper, and headed to the ballpark. The day games had already been played throughout the Grapefruit League. We arrived at Hammond Stadium expecting to pay for our parking and make our way through the turnstiles. The gate attendants let us through. “Parking is free tonight. We are waiting for an announcement. Go to the main gate and someone will let you know whether there will be a game, or not.”

We parked. My son grabbed his glove from his carry-on, hoping to catch a foul ball. We waited half an hour outside the park before a Twins official came out to announce that the Orioles team bus had turned around and was headed back north to Sarasota. The game had been cancelled. The season was almost scrapped too, as owners and players haggled over how to salvage the 2020 season. Once again, Management outmaneuvered Labor.

Our family enjoyed the 2021 season, with our Flex 20 package. One of our first public outings was when we could safely watch a game from the third deck behind home plate. The seats next to us were zip-tied shut. We had to wear masks, but it was so good to be outside and around other fans. I believe that our collective mental and social health was increased by outings like an afternoon or evening at Target Field. To remove that opportunity during this present crisis is a violation of that social contract I referenced above. In a nutshell, a social contract is made when members of a society cooperate with one another for the good of all.

If the owners and major league players—Management and Labor—violate that contract with their fans—their consumers—there is only one option—boycott baseball if-and-when the game comes back to us. The 2022 season may likely be delayed or stopped because of the decision made by the owners to lock out their bread and butter—the most gifted baseball players on the planet.

To this end, baseball is a meritocracy—the greatest players offer the highest level of skill and entertainment. But if the opportunity to see those talents on display is taken from me, I will spend a season or two watching independent ball, our local high school team, or travelling to places like the East Coast to watch the Cape Cod League.

The gods of baseball don’t only show up at Target Field, there are other places to “worship.” I use that word with some hesitation, so I beg your pardon. My wish is not to offend. Yet I am not the first to compare a cathedral with a ballpark. Hebrew scholars define the Garden of Eden as a walled greens space. Sounds like a ballpark to me.

Heaven is about returning to that walled space, again and again. I am heartened by the deal that Twins management and labor struck with the signing of Byron Buxton earlier this week. Byron has made it all the way around the bases and has found his home among us.

“This is our home. For my kids, they’re a part of Minnesota. We can put our boys through school and not really have to worry about it. I love the city. I love the fans. I love the organization. They were the first ones that gave me a chance to become who I am today. So, for me, there’s a lot of loyalty to this. That’s how I was raised.”

Buxton’s quote reminded me of A. Bartlett Giamatti’s eloquent summary of the game, comparing Odysseus’ treacherous journey home from the Trojan War. Each island peril is baseball’s equivalent of base and basepath. The destination is home:

Baseball is about homecoming. It is a journey by theft and strength, guile and speed, out around first to the far island of second, where foes lurk in the reefs and the green sea suddenly grows deeper, then to turn sharply, skimming the shallows, making for a shore that will show a friendly face, a color, a familiar language and, at third, to proceed, no longer by paths indirect but straight, to home. Baseball is about going home, and how hard it is to get there and how driven is our need. It tells us how good home is. Its wisdom says you can go home again but that you cannot stay. The journey must always start once more, the bat an oar over the shoulder, until there is an end to all journeying. Nostos; the going home; the game of nostalgia, so apt an image for our hunger that it hurts.

Ballplayers and their fans have been locked out of our home. Capricious owners stand behind the chained gates of their exclusive cathedrals. They believe that if this lockout keeps on, we will forgive and forget. Let’s not give them that satisfaction.

Owners, get back to the negotiating table. Put a moratorium on the lockout. How many kids spend more of their gross income on baseball cards than owners spend on their exclusive hobby? We had a hard time forgiving you in 1995. Do you really think we’ll be more eager to return for $10 beers and $50 tickets this time around? You are looking for a better deal. But here's deal--this is not just a financial transaction. It's a social contract--one that you have violated. This one’s on you.

 

 

 

 

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A former player's rep was on MLB radio yesterday explaining how the lockout is just standard practice and doesn't mean anything.  He also said that the primary issue keeping a new agreement signed is that the revenue split right now is about 57% to 43% with the players on the low side.  The players want the split to be 50-50.  I was thinking about that yesterday and came to the conclusion that 50-50 seems unreasonable.  How does baseball work?  One side (the owners) insures that there are players to fill out the team, a place to play, a means to travel from series to series, pays salaries, pays office staff, pays stadium personnel, assumes any financial risks involved with the business, and any other overhead costs.  The other side (the players) play a game most of us played as kids.  A 50-50 split in revenue seems to me to be ridiculous.  Now before everyone jumps all over me for defending greedy billionaires, I just want to say I hate what they have done to the game.  Their lack of forethought, planning, and fiscal restraint has raised the cost of going to a game for a non-wealthy family to levels most cannot (or are not willing to) pay.  That greed has ruined the game.

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4 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

A former player's rep was on MLB radio yesterday explaining how the lockout is just standard practice and doesn't mean anything.  He also said that the primary issue keeping a new agreement signed is that the revenue split right now is about 57% to 43% with the players on the low side.  The players want the split to be 50-50.  I was thinking about that yesterday and came to the conclusion that 50-50 seems unreasonable.  How does baseball work?  One side (the owners) insures that there are players to fill out the team, a place to play, a means to travel from series to series, pays salaries, pays office staff, pays stadium personnel, assumes any financial risks involved with the business, and any other overhead costs.  The other side (the players) play a game most of us played as kids.  A 50-50 split in revenue seems to me to be ridiculous.  Now before everyone jumps all over me for defending greedy billionaires, I just want to say I hate what they have done to the game.  Their lack of forethought, planning, and fiscal restraint has raised the cost of going to a game for a non-wealthy family to levels most cannot (or are not willing to) pay.  That greed has ruined the game.

You can get tickets for like...$20-$40 for concourse/ nose bleed seats to basically any game at Target Field. What are you on about? 

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5 minutes ago, KFEY93 said:

You can get tickets for like...$20-$40 for concourse/ nose bleed seats to basically any game at Target Field. What are you on about? 

That is satire? Right?  If not, multiply it by four and add in parking and food, and you get a cost for a family of four of $100 to $150.  That's a steep price for many families.

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Yeah if only part of the outcome of this was actually doing something for the fan base to grow it rather than shrink it, i.e. how about we cut the owner's side of the revenue by reducing ticket prices down to the current player share. The net effect would be a larger fan base and a bigger pie over time. 

Sigh.

 

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52 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

A former player's rep was on MLB radio yesterday explaining how the lockout is just standard practice and doesn't mean anything.  He also said that the primary issue keeping a new agreement signed is that the revenue split right now is about 57% to 43% with the players on the low side.  The players want the split to be 50-50.  I was thinking about that yesterday and came to the conclusion that 50-50 seems unreasonable.  How does baseball work?  One side (the owners) insures that there are players to fill out the team, a place to play, a means to travel from series to series, pays salaries, pays office staff, pays stadium personnel, assumes any financial risks involved with the business, and any other overhead costs.  The other side (the players) play a game most of us played as kids.  A 50-50 split in revenue seems to me to be ridiculous.  Now before everyone jumps all over me for defending greedy billionaires, I just want to say I hate what they have done to the game.  Their lack of forethought, planning, and fiscal restraint has raised the cost of going to a game for a non-wealthy family to levels most cannot (or are not willing to) pay.  That greed has ruined the game.

on the S&P 500 gross margin typically falls 43-45%. With the amount of public subsidy for ballparks, players are by far the largest share of COGS 50/50 doesn't seem too far out of whack compared to publicly traded companies.

Agreed on the Forethought/Planning/Greed concept. There is some significant mismanagement ruining the sport for the fans.  

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1 hour ago, terrydactyls said:

A former player's rep was on MLB radio yesterday explaining how the lockout is just standard practice and doesn't mean anything.  He also said that the primary issue keeping a new agreement signed is that the revenue split right now is about 57% to 43% with the players on the low side.  The players want the split to be 50-50.  I was thinking about that yesterday and came to the conclusion that 50-50 seems unreasonable.  How does baseball work?  One side (the owners) insures that there are players to fill out the team, a place to play, a means to travel from series to series, pays salaries, pays office staff, pays stadium personnel, assumes any financial risks involved with the business, and any other overhead costs.  The other side (the players) play a game most of us played as kids.  A 50-50 split in revenue seems to me to be ridiculous.  Now before everyone jumps all over me for defending greedy billionaires, I just want to say I hate what they have done to the game.  Their lack of forethought, planning, and fiscal restraint has raised the cost of going to a game for a non-wealthy family to levels most cannot (or are not willing to) pay.  That greed has ruined the game.

Don't forget that nearly all owners never pay for their stadiums.

Until they disclose their financials they can tell you that they are losing money without having to prove it. Atlanta is the only team that has to disclose their numbers since they are a publicly traded stock now.

I can't wait to hear teams cry about having a floor for payroll and they claim they can't afford to get their payroll to say, 80 million. If that is the case force them to either sell the team or comply. With all the revenue sharing and all other sources of income teams bring in I can't see how any team can't do that.

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I'm also not trying to defend owners either. They only acted first by starting the lockout. The players would have waited until either the All Star game or August and went on strike when it would hurt the owners most.

Neither party is willing to negotiate until they have to. How dumb was it that they met for 7 minutes on the final day before the lockout started.

Players make way too much money and owners are also greedy. I would love it if the owners would be forced to share more revenue with their state if their stadium was paid for with state funding. It would be a nice FU by the players to make the teams distribute more money back to the state.

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1 hour ago, terrydactyls said:

He also said that the primary issue keeping a new agreement signed is that the revenue split right now is about 57% to 43% with the players on the low side.  The players want the split to be 50-50.  I was thinking about that yesterday and came to the conclusion that 50-50 seems unreasonable.

The other thing that should be looming over all of this is that at this point in 2021, no one knows what the income from the main revenue driver (television) is going to look like by the next CBA agreement.

Manfred has talked pretty openly about not being particularly invested in Sinclair as an RSN partner and MLB looking to take a bit more control of it's own destiny when it comes to streaming and direct-to-consumer marketing. It seems that making that switch is going to come with an immediate financial penalty with the hope of greater growth - but it's a pretty big unknown when the league / teams are making a break from the older carriage agreements. When you add the slow recovery from 2020, the financial picture is even less clear.

That's not to say that players shouldn't demand a share that is equal to the value that they provide - but so far most of the reporting I've read seems to make the old arguments that reflect what the financial environment was, not what it likely will be. *

* This is also why I'm wary of players asking for changes to revenue sharing. Given how ugly the owner vs. owner thing was in implementing the current system in the first place, there is no way on earth that any owner is going to even consider tinkering with revenue sharing in the face of uncertainty.

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6 hours ago, terrydactyls said:

A former player's rep was on MLB radio yesterday explaining how the lockout is just standard practice and doesn't mean anything.  He also said that the primary issue keeping a new agreement signed is that the revenue split right now is about 57% to 43% with the players on the low side.  The players want the split to be 50-50.  I was thinking about that yesterday and came to the conclusion that 50-50 seems unreasonable.  How does baseball work?  One side (the owners) insures that there are players to fill out the team, a place to play, a means to travel from series to series, pays salaries, pays office staff, pays stadium personnel, assumes any financial risks involved with the business, and any other overhead costs.  The other side (the players) play a game most of us played as kids.  A 50-50 split in revenue seems to me to be ridiculous.  Now before everyone jumps all over me for defending greedy billionaires, I just want to say I hate what they have done to the game.  Their lack of forethought, planning, and fiscal restraint has raised the cost of going to a game for a non-wealthy family to levels most cannot (or are not willing to) pay.  That greed has ruined the game.

There was a time the split was close to 50/50.  Business models change and the change we have seen in MLB is teams spending far more on analytics and development staff.   I have read that some of the teams have added 100 employees in the past handful of years.  In other words, teams have shifted some of that 50% being invested in players to other types of staff.  The players are ignoring the changes in the industry.

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On 12/3/2021 at 8:31 AM, terrydactyls said:

That is satire? Right?  If not, multiply it by four and add in parking and food, and you get a cost for a family of four of $100 to $150.  That's a steep price for many families.

No, its not satire lol. You dont have to eat and drink at the game. And if you cant spend $100 - $150 on a weekend with 4 kids, then you have bigger things to be worrying about than going to a ball game. That's all I'm going to say about the subject any more. Tickets for good seats are expensive, I'm not disagreeing but saying that its IMPOSSIBLE for someone to afford ANY ticket is false and a little over dramatic. That being said, I haven't gone to a game since 2014 (usually sit down the 1st or 3rd base line) because I will no longer pay to see a game until there is a championship quality product on the field, but thats a whole other issue. 

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On 12/3/2021 at 2:27 PM, Major League Ready said:

There was a time the split was close to 50/50.  Business models change and the change we have seen in MLB is teams spending far more on analytics and development staff.   I have read that some of the teams have added 100 employees in the past handful of years.  In other words, teams have shifted some of that 50% being invested in players to other types of staff.  The players are ignoring the changes in the industry.

I believe the NFL is at 48.8% players, 50.2% owners. I'm sure there's plenty of expenses for MLB, but that's got to be peanuts compared to the overhead for NFL teams who have many more employees than baseball teams. And more of those employees work near year-round schedules since the NFL purposefully doesn't really have an off season. 

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5 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

I believe the NFL is at 48.8% players, 50.2% owners. I'm sure there's plenty of expenses for MLB, but that's got to be peanuts compared to the overhead for NFL teams who have many more employees than baseball teams. And more of those employees work near year-round schedules since the NFL purposefully doesn't really have an off season. 

What does this have to do with the fact that in recent years teams have added a significant number of analysts and player development staff?  The players are refusing to work basically because they want the split go back to what it was without considering industry changes.  The specific percentage compared to another industry is irrelevant.  The point is the trend and that trend is a product of some of the budget for player salaries to investment in analysts and developmental staff.

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41 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

What does this have to do with the fact that in recent years teams have added a significant number of analysts and player development staff?  The players are refusing to work basically because they want the split go back to what it was without considering industry changes.  The specific percentage compared to another industry is irrelevant.  The point is the trend and that trend is a product of some of the budget for player salaries to investment in analysts and developmental staff.

Well the players want the owners to stop trying to dictate the trends which in turn manipulates their pay. I think that's pretty much the crux of the players' issue with the owners.

And the NFL and MLB are both professional sports leagues; same industry. They all take their cues from each other. Well less so MLB, which is unfortunate considering it's the one that's most at risk of dying due to not adapting and learning from what works for the other sports.

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38 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

Well the players want the owners to stop trying to dictate the trends which in turn manipulates their pay. I think that's pretty much the crux of the players' issue with the owners.

And the NFL and MLB are both professional sports leagues; same industry. They all take their cues from each other. Well less so MLB, which is unfortunate considering it's the one that's most at risk of dying due to not adapting and learning from what works for the other sports.

Perhaps this is the problem at it's core.  The teams want to do what's best for the team and players want every dollar possible to go to them.  Employees don't dictate how a business is run.  What should the teams do?  Follow less effective business practices because it means more money for the players?  Obviously, this trend exists because it makes teams and players better.   Would you want our team to avoid investing in these areas because the money could have went to player's salaries?

Who do you think is more driven by the best interest of baseball and the team.  The owner who obviously has a much greater long-term interest or the players who are obviously most interested in getting every dollar they can?  Granted, the owner's interest is financial too but at least their interests align directly with the best interests of the game and it's fans.

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3 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Perhaps this is the problem at it's core.  The teams want to do what's best for the team and players want every dollar possible to go to them.  Employees don't dictate how a business is run.  What should the teams do?  Follow less effective business practices because it means more money for the players?  Obviously, this trend exists because it makes teams and players better.   Would you want our team to avoid investing in these areas because the money could have went to player's salaries?

Who do you think is more driven by the best interest of baseball and the team.  The owner who obviously has a much greater long-term interest or the players who are obviously most interested in getting every dollar they can?  Granted, the owner's interest is financial too but at least their interests align directly with the best interests of the game and it's fans.

All industries that work with unionized employees have to consider the employees input on how to operate the business.

As far as who wants what’s best for the business? Uh sure, that’s the owners. But their concerns about what’s best for business is about revenue first, winning is a distant second. Financial interest and on field interest are clearly NOT aligned.

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10 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

All industries that work with unionized employees have to consider the employees input on how to operate the business.

As far as who wants what’s best for the business? Uh sure, that’s the owners. But their concerns about what’s best for business is about revenue first, winning is a distant second. Financial interest and on field interest are clearly NOT aligned.

If winning has nothing to do with revenue, why are they signing players to $100M, $200M or even $300M plus contracts?

Buy a share of stock and go to a board meeting.  Ownership cares about their product and their fans far more than employees in general.  Employees have self-interest at mind and when there is an opportunity to generate generational wealth by age 35, there is a laser focus on "getting theirs".  We (the fans) fund this league.  We should be thinking in terms of what's best for the game and that includes the small markets.  The players focus and their proposals is harmful to small markets and ultimately harmful to the game. when those small markets can't compete.

Where is the focus on paying prearb players more?  Why don't current players care about better compensation for Milb players.  They don't care because they are already past the stage of their career so it could not possibly be of benefit for them.  Their focus is getting every dollar they can and the game or fans is a very distant second to that goal.  The last thing we should want should be the players dictating how MLB operates.

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On 12/3/2021 at 8:31 AM, terrydactyls said:

That is satire? Right?  If not, multiply it by four and add in parking and food, and you get a cost for a family of four of $100 to $150.  That's a steep price for many families.

Its not so much the price of tickets at Target Field that are expensive but the concessions are a joke.  I say that as a former season ticket holder.  The 'family section' within the ballpark could be a good start to get the family experience back in the game.  Have super reasonable concession prices within the section and see how that works for folks?  It certainly couldn't hurt.  

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7 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

If winning has nothing to do with revenue, why are they signing players to $100M, $200M or even $300M plus contracts?

Buy a share of stock and go to a board meeting.  Ownership cares about their product and their fans far more than employees in general.  Employees have self-interest at mind and when there is an opportunity to generate generational wealth by age 35, there is a laser focus on "getting theirs".  We (the fans) fund this league.  We should be thinking in terms of what's best for the game and that includes the small markets.  The players focus and their proposals is harmful to small markets and ultimately harmful to the game. when those small markets can't compete.

Where is the focus on paying prearb players more?  Why don't current players care about better compensation for Milb players.  They don't care because they are already past the stage of their career so it could not possibly be of benefit for them.  Their focus is getting every dollar they can and the game or fans is a very distant second to that goal.  The last thing we should want should be the players dictating how MLB operates.

If winning was as important as revenues, why are the Twins signing 100M contracts while the other clubs are signing the 200M and 300M contracts?

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t advocate for the Twins, or any other team being fiscally responsible (conservative) and also claim spending LESS means they want to win MORE.

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13 hours ago, spanman2 said:

Its not so much the price of tickets at Target Field that are expensive but the concessions are a joke.  I say that as a former season ticket holder.  The 'family section' within the ballpark could be a good start to get the family experience back in the game.  Have super reasonable concession prices within the section and see how that works for folks?  It certainly couldn't hurt.  

they already do this in one of the sections. I think it's in the upper part or right-centerfield.

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18 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

If winning was as important as revenues, why are the Twins signing 100M contracts while the other clubs are signing the 200M and 300M contracts?

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t advocate for the Twins, or any other team being fiscally responsible (conservative) and also claim spending LESS means they want to win MORE.

You have got to be kidding me.  Why are teams with $100M or $200M or $300M more in revenue signing the largest contracts.  Do you really need this phenomena explained?  I mean really, you are not even trying to look at this objectively.  You are literally asking why people with more money spend more money.  Do you think your perception of the problem might be off?

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1 hour ago, Major League Ready said:

You have got to be kidding me.  Why are teams with $100M or $200M or $300M more in revenue signing the largest contracts.  Do you really need this phenomena explained?  I mean really, you are not even trying to look at this objectively.  You are literally asking why people with more money spend more money.  Do you think your perception of the problem might be off?

The Padres say 👋

Also, tone down the condescension... again.

Strictly going by the numbers, the Twins are down roughly $45m over previous payrolls. They CAN afford to sign a $150m deal should they choose to do so. We can argue the merits of signing a contract that large but this franchise is certainly capable of affording a contract of that size. They took on a nearly $200m contract over ten years ago, they can certainly do the same today.

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57 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The Padres say 👋

Also, tone down the condescension... again.

Strictly going by the numbers, the Twins are down roughly $45m over previous payrolls. They CAN afford to sign a $150m deal should they choose to do so. We can argue the merits of signing a contract that large but this franchise is certainly capable of affording a contract of that size. They took on a nearly $200m contract over ten years ago, they can certainly do the same today.

I am sorry but failing to recognize someone or some team with far more money is far more apt to spend more money lacks even the most basic of reason.

Also, no matter how often someone here suggests the budget should be based on historical highs or even last season, businesses don't set their budget based on history.  The personnel budgets are a product of revenue estimates and projected operating costs.  Do you suppose most people spend less when they make less?

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2 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

You have got to be kidding me.  Why are teams with $100M or $200M or $300M more in revenue signing the largest contracts.  Do you really need this phenomena explained?  I mean really, you are not even trying to look at this objectively.  You are literally asking why people with more money spend more money.  Do you think your perception of the problem might be off?

YOU are the one saying the winning is more important than revenue to the billionaire owners. Do you really need that fallacy explained to you?

Very simple equation. If winning is > than revenue, than revenue is < or = to zero.

I don't expect that from any owner, but you need to stop trying to paint these guys as some kind of benevolent gods who only want the best for everyone.

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12 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

Also, no matter how often someone here suggests the budget should be based on historical highs or even last season, businesses don't set their budget based on history.  The personnel budgets are a product of revenue estimates and projected operating costs.  Do you suppose most people spend less when they make less?

The Twins themselves have suggested their payroll will be similar to previous seasons and we're talking $45m here. That's a boatload of money and plenty of room for a high profile signing and still coming under that $45m number by a large margin. They gave Donaldson $95m two offseasons ago and Buxton $100m like five minutes ago. To suggest they're in some dire straights when they themselves have not given the slightest indication that is the case is building a narrative to fit the argument.

Again, I see plenty of reasons why a $150m contract is not in the team's best interests right now, but that's a vastly different conversation than whether they can afford a $150m contract. They can obviously afford it, they're choosing not to do it.

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I cannot address the ticket prices other than if they get too high for the product people will not attend.  At that point, teams will have to lower ticket prices and adjust caps/player salaries AND their revenue/profit margins accordingly.

What I can say is the NFL has this right with revenue sharing.  Teams in every market size have an equal chance of winning it all and almost all NFL games are close and provide entertainment for those who watch due to parity.

Baseball needs to level the playing field between teams.  Then everybody wins instead of the haves and have nots that we have now.  The large market teams think only of themselves rather than the overall health of the league.

In regards to overall changes, I am all for anything that shortens the length of games.

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46 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

YOU are the one saying the winning is more important than revenue to the billionaire owners. Do you really need that fallacy explained to you?

Very simple equation. If winning is > than revenue, than revenue is < or = to zero.

I don't expect that from any owner, but you need to stop trying to paint these guys as some kind of benevolent gods who only want the best for everyone.

I have simply pointed out that it is in their best interest to protect their product which aligns with fan interests.  The players most recent demands clearly shows their only interest is getting every dime they can.  Are you really going to argue the owners will protect fan interests and the game itself more so than the players association?

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2 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

I have simply pointed out that it is in their best interest to protect their product which aligns with fan interests.  The players most recent demands clearly shows their only interest is getting every dime they can.  Are you really going to argue the owners will protect fan interests and the game itself more so than the players association?

The owners repeatedly prove they care more about profit than fan interest and saving the game. They sold their broadcasting rights for a boatload of money and now sit and watch the chaos and fan apathy that's occurring due to that decision.

They eliminated about 1/4th of all minor league teams, denying those communities their decades long ability to watch hometown baseball, all because they wanted to pay fewer minor league players.

They threaten relocation and contraction if they don't get handed free money for new stadiums. It doesn't matter to them if the tax payers of Oakland can't actually afford it, they want that money.

These are the actions of people who want to grab every dime they can, they don't protect the product OR fan interest, they only protect their financial situation. People certainly can make the case that the players have unreasonable demands, but that doesn't mean the owners aren't the one's at fault for the mess the game is in. They make it very, very clear that they'd rather make as much money as they can now, and worry about the future later, if there is a future at all. Which is looking less and less likely every year.

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